Monday, September 17, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Thursday, Sept. 19, 1861

Col. James A. Mulligan’s Federal troops, dug in around a Masonic college on a hill in Lexington, Missouri, are coming under increasing pressure, suffering from thirst in a scorching heat. They number only 2,800 men from Illinois and Missouri, while Confederate Maj. Gen. Stirling Price’s has a force that is estimated variously at 10,000 to 18,000. The Rebels capture the Federals’ water supply, cut off their means of escape via the nearby Missouri River, and block Union reinforcements—including the 39th Ohio—from reaching Mulligan’s embattled little troop. The Ohioans will not taste battle here.

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